Monday, May 26, 2008

Take [the nerd] out to the ball game

Take [the nerd] out to the ball game

My mother-in-law, my wife, my five-year-old twins, and I went to our first St. Paul Saints game last night. Cue the reminiscing and the tenuous connection to geocaching...

I made the varsity baseball team at my high school as a sophomore. That was a big deal at the time, but anyone who has played baseball knows that the young folks on the team get hazed -- carrying all the equipment, stupid nicknames, emotional and physical abuse, all that fun team-building stuff.

I hit a grand-slam home run in my first varsity at-bat, but it was a humiliating experience, because the seniors had nicknamed me "E=MC^2" and were chanting it on my trip around the bases -- I sprinted around to get it over with as quickly as possible. They were yelling "Look at that TRAJECTORY!" and "Calculate the INITIAL VELOCITY!"

Between then and my second at-bat, I wondered if it was really possible for me to hit a home run every time to the plate for my entire career. So the next time to the plate, I uppercut the first two pitches... 0-2. On the third pitch I hit a weak pop-up to the pitcher, and my coach at third base yelled, so that everyone could hear, "Jesus Christ, Bryan, you're not going to hit a home run every time!" The chanting resumed. MC^2! MC^2!


When I was in college, our dream road trip was to visit all 26 (at that time) major league ball parks, and the list expanded to include all minor league ball parks. Now if that kind of road trip could be combined with geocaching...

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